If anyone saw last week's episode of Horizon they'll know what I'm talking about! The programme was all about 'the truth about exercise' with the presenter exploring new research and theories about physical activity and its effect on you. As part of this he was given a pair of 'fidget pants' to wear for 24 hours. These black shorts had sensitive sensors in them that monitored and recorded every movement he made and calculated it into calories and his overall activity level.
As many of us who have desk jobs know, it's very easy to spend the majority of the day sat on your bottom This experiment really highlighted how little activity it is possible to do while going about our normal lives. Shocked by the very sedentary lifestyle that this experiment highlighted, the presenter then repeated the experiment but this time tried to fit in as much activity as he could into his day. This wasn't through organised sport or visiting the gym, he simply walked more. You saw him having a walking meeting, taking the stairs, walking to the bus stop and around the shops. All the things we're trying to promote through the challenge. He managed to use up an extra 500 calories in one day by just moving about a little bit more! The research also showed that being active like this as part of your daily life is better for your health than spending many hours being sedentary and then hitting the gym in the evening. The overall message was that you should move every hour to stay healthy.
So, one more great reason to take part in the Step Count Challenge! If anyone's interested in finding out more, watch the programme on the BBC iPlayer here. It's available until the 17 April 2012.